So you’re planning on or maybe already working on your website design, and you want it to be great. Not just look great, but be great at bringing in new business, or raising awareness of your big issue, or helping you accomplish whatever your primary objective is.
Ummm… you do know what your website’s primary objective is, right?
Whether you are working with a website developer or handling things on your own, here are 40 questions to help you create a website that will indeed be effective, no matter what your ultimate goals may be. And remember that it can be easy to pop out quick answers, but that won’t always give you the insights and direction you really need. So the more time you take to really think through your answers as you ask yourself these questions, the more effective your website will be.
- Who are our website’s target audiences?
- What precisely is the one most important thing we want our website to accomplish? Second and third most important?
- What precisely is the one most important thing our target audiences would want to get from visiting our website? Second and third most important?
- How do we best align what we want to what our target audiences want?
- How obvious is our Call to Action and how clearly does it direct users?
B. Guiding the Way
- Does our menu system make it easy for users to find what they want, as well as the pathway toward our main call to action?
- Do we have a logical site plan and breadcrumbs to help users easily keep track of where they are and how to get back to the Home page?
- Can a user search our content for what they want?
- Is our menu system easy to understand and use?
- Are our pages and sections named to be helpful to the user rather than just clever or easy for our own team to use?
- Do our landing pages easily follow a logical progression from the individual ads, offers, or links that will bring our visitors in?
- Is our contact info easy to find — preferably in the upper right corner — on every page?
- If we have forms to be filled out, are they as short and easy to use as possible? On the other hand, if we want to reduce the numbers so we get only qualified leads, do we have questions that help filter out everyone else?
C. Providing Great Content
- What content would be truly great according to our target audiences? It’s probably not a whole website that just talks about us and our products! Do we offer helpful content that answers their questions or provides tips related to our product and related activities?
- Do we answer the questions our users most want to have answered? Do we even know what they are?
- Do we use graphics in the website design that make each page more appealing, pulling readers in without overpowering or distracting them?
- Do we avoid Flash or heavy graphics or widgets that slow down the website or complicate its use?
- Do we use fonts, colors, background colors, and sizes that are easy to read on a variety of devices?
- Is our text broken down into short, easy-to-read paragraphs?
- Do we use subheadings and bullets to make content easier to read or browse quickly?
- Do we avoid industry terminology that might confuse or frustrate readers?
- Do we feature testimonials or quotes from clients?
- Do we use video or audio strategically on our website to appeal to different people’s preferences or build a more personal connection?
- Do we have a prominent place for our latest news and media clips, and do we keep it current?
- Are we adding new content at least once a week? (Read, “Do we have an active blog?”)
- Have we identified the keywords that our target audiences are most likely to use when searching for us?
- Have we optimized specific pages for each of the main keywords, so that the text, headings, and page urls of those pages include the terms our target audiences are most likely to use when searching for us?
- Is our website easily viewable on tablets or mobile platforms? Should we offer a mobile version?
E. Social Media
- Do we have logos linking to our social media pages to help users easily connect with us, wherever we have an active presence?
- Would a Facebook widget on our Home page encourage visitors to “Like” us there? Does our Facebook activity help build a community, or have we left it untended?
- Would a widget showing our most recent tweets help establish a bond, or are we not focused enough on Twitter for that to be helpful?
- Do we have social media buttons on our blog posts to encourage easy sharing of our content?
- Do we want to also include social media buttons on our website pages to encourage easy sharing of that content?
- Do we encourage, monitor, and quickly respond to comments on our blog posts, and possibly our website pages as well?
- Should we encourage guest blogging?
F. Providing Customer Service
- If users would need to contact us related to questions or problems they have with our products or service — and keeping in mind that they will usually be frustrated at that point — do we provide an incredibly easy way for them to do so?
- Do we minimize the amount of info users need to give in order to submit an inquiry or support request?
- If users run into difficulty using our website or finding what they want, do we offer an easy way for them to get help or call us instead?
- Would an interactive map, such as a Google map that allows people to get detailed driving directions from any location, be of value to us or our customers?
- Once users submit a request for service or information, do we respond quickly with an acknowledgement and a realistic estimate of when they can expect a more detailed reply?
These 40 questions will give your new website a great headstart. Of course, some of the answers could easily include a lot more detail than we offer here, but these should at least get things moving in a very positive direction for you.
Have more questions you think should be included? Please share them in the comments below. And if you are wondering if a top website designer can help you get more value from your marketing, talk to us. We can help!